Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 6 May

There are twenty Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumously. Fifteen from the Civil War, one from the Indian Campaigns, two from the Philippine Insurrection, and two from Vietnam.

Civil War. The Wilderness fight in 1864 dominates, though there is one Medal resulting from the difficult task of retrreating the Army of the Potomac from the Chancellorsville area.

BINGHAM, HENRY H.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company G, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Cannonsburg, Pa. Born: 4 December 1841, Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 31 August 1893. Citation: Rallied and led into action a portion of the troops who had given way under the fierce assaults of the enemy.

BROWN, HENRI LE FEVRE

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 72d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Ellicott, N.Y. Birth: Jamestown, N.Y. Date of issue: 23 June 1896. Citation: Voluntarily and under a heavy fire from the enemy, 3 times crossed the field of battle with a load of ammunition in a blanket on his back, thus supplying the Federal forces, whose ammunition had nearly all been expended, and enabling them to hold their position until reinforcement arrived, when the enemy were driven from their position.

BURK, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 97th New York Infantry. Place and date. At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Harrisburgh, Lewis County, N.Y. Born: 1842, Lewis County, N.Y. Date of Issue: 24 August 1896. Citation: At the risk of his own life went back while the rebels were still firing and, finding Col. Wheelock unable to move, alone and unaided, carried him off the field of battle.

COHN, ABRAHAM

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 6th New Hampshire Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864; At the mine, Petersburg, Va., 30 July 1864. Entered service at: Campton, N.H. Birth: Guttentag, Silesia, Prussia. Date of issue: 24 August 1865. Citation: During Battle of the Wilderness rallied and formed, under heavy fire, disorganized and fleeing troops of different regiments. At Petersburg, Va., 30 July 1864, bravely and coolly carried orders to the advanced line under severe fire.

DE LACEY, PATRICK

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 143d Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Scranton, Pa. Born: 25 November 1834, Carbondale, Lackawanna County, Pa. Date of issue: 24 April 1894. Citation: Running ahead of the line, under a concentrated fire, he shot the color bearer of a Confederate regiment on the works, thus contributing to the success of the attack.

DRAKE, JAMES M.

Rank and organization: 2d Lieutenant, Company D, 9th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Bermuda Hundred, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Elizabeth, N.J. Birth: Union County, N.J. Date of issue: 3 March 1873. Citation: Commanded the skirmish line in the advance and held his position all day and during the night.

ENGLISH, EDMUND

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company C, 2d New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Newark, N.J. Born: 16 November 1841, Ireland. Date of issue: 13 February 1891. Citation: During a rout and while under orders to retreat seized the colors, rallied the men, and drove the enemy back.

HILL, HENRY

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company C, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: —–. Birth: Schuylkill County, Pa. Date of issue: 23 September 1897. Citation: This soldier, with one companion, would not retire when his regiment fell back in confusion after an unsuccessful charge, but instead advanced and continued firing upon the enemy until the regiment re-formed and regained its position.

KARPELES, LEOPOLD

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 57th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Springfield, Mass. Birth: Hungary. Date of issue: 30 April 1870. Citation: While color bearer, rallied the retreating troops and induced them to check the enemy’s advance.

KEMP, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company D, 5th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Birth: Lima, Ohio. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 31st North Carolina (C.S.A.) in a personal encounter.

OSS, ALBERT

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 11th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Newark, N.J. Birth: Belgium. Date of issue: 6 May 1892. Citation: Remained in the rifle pits after the others had retreated, firing constantly, and contesting the ground step by step.

ROUGHT, STEPHEN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 141st Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Crampton, Pa. Birth: Bradford County, Pa. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 13th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.).

THOMPSON, WILLIAM P.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 20th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Tippecanoe County, Ind. Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 55th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

TRACY, BENJAMIN F.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 109th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at: Owego, N.Y. Born: 26 April 1830, Owego, N.Y. Date of issue: 21 June 1895. Citation: Seized the colors and led the regiment when other regiments had retired and then reformed his line and held it.

YOUNG, JAMES M.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 72d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness. Va., 6 May 1864. Entered service at Chautauqua County, N.Y. Birth: Chautauqua County, N.Y. Date of issue: 2 April 1898. Citation: With 2 companions, voluntarily went forward in the forest to reconnoiter the enemy’s position, was fired upon and one of his companions disabled. Pvt. Young took the wounded man upon his back and, under fire, carried him within the Union lines.

Indian Campaigns

HOOVER, SAMUEL

Rank and organization: Bugler, Company A, 1st U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Santa Maria Mountains, Ariz., 6 May 1873. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Dauphin County, Pa. Date of issue: 12 August 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action, also services as trailer in May 1872.

Philippine Insurrection

MACLAY, WILLIAM P.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 43d Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Hilongas, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 6 May 1900. Entered service at: Altoona, Pa. Birth: Spruce Creek, Pa. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Charged an occupied bastion, saving the life of an officer in a hand-to-hand combat and destroying the enemy.

THORDSEN, WILLIAM GEORGE

Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 2 April 1879, Fredericstadt, Germany. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 6, 15 August 1900. Citation. For heroism and gallantry under fire of the enemy at Hilongas, Philippine Islands, 6 May 1900.

Vietnam War

*HOWE, JAMES D.

Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company I, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 6 May 1970. Entered service at: Fort Jackson, S.C. Born: 17 December 1948, Six Mile, Pickens, S.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company I, during operations against enemy forces. In the early morning hours L/Cpl. Howe and 2 other marines were occupying a defensive position in a sandy beach area fronted by bamboo thickets. Enemy sappers suddenly launched a grenade attack against the position, utilizing the cover of darkness to carry out their assault. Following the initial explosions of the grenades, L/Cpl. Howe and his 2 comrades moved to a more advantageous position in order to return suppressive fire. When an enemy grenade landed in their midst, L/Cpl. Howe immediately shouted a warning and then threw himself upon the deadly missile, thereby protecting the lives of the fellow marines. His heroic and selfless action was in keeping with the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Service. He valiantly gave his life in the service of his country.

PATTERSON, ROBERT MARTIN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop B, 2d Squadron. 17th Cavalry. Place and date: Near La Chu, Republic of Vietnam, 6 May 1968. Entered service at: Raleigh, N.C. Born: 16 April 1948, Durham, N.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Patterson (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a fire team leader of the 3d Platoon, Troop B, during an assault against a North Vietnamese Army battalion which was entrenched in a heavily fortified position. When the leading squad of the 3d Platoon was pinned down by heavy interlocking automatic weapon and rocket propelled grenade fire from 2 enemy bunkers, Sgt. Patterson and the 2 other members of his assault team moved forward under a hail of enemy fire to destroy the bunkers with grenade and machinegun fire. Observing that his comrades were being fired on from a third enemy bunker covered by enemy gunners in l-man spider holes, Sgt. Patterson, with complete disregard for his safety and ignoring the warning of his comrades that he was moving into a bunker complex, assaulted and destroyed the position. Although exposed to intensive small arm and grenade fire from the bunkers and their mutually supporting emplacements. Sgt. Patterson continued his assault upon the bunkers which were impeding the advance of his unit. Sgt. Patterson single-handedly destroyed by rifle and grenade fire 5 enemy bunkers, killed 8 enemy soldiers and captured 7 weapons. His dauntless courage and heroism inspired his platoon to resume the attack and to penetrate the enemy defensive position. Sgt. Patterson’s action at the risk of his life has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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